McDonald’s Working with AARP to Hire More Seniors

McDonald's restaurant

McDonald’s USA has teamed up with AARP and the AARP Foundation to add more seniors to its work force. The addition of older workers will help alleviate the effects of the tight labor market as the firm prepares to hire about 250,000 people for the summer.

The mega QSR chain is piloting a program that aligns employer and candidate job needs, taking advantage of the AARP Foundation’s Senior Community Service Employment Program and Back o Work 50+ workforce development programs. Older McDonald’s workers will have access to the educational and career benefits available to McDonald’s employees.

The burger firm’s job postings will be featured on AARP’s job board, which only includes employers who have committed to an age-diverse workforce. The pilot program starts in five states—Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and North Carolina—among franchisees who have opted in. It will go nationwide later in the summer.

Seniors 55 and older are the fastest growing sector of the workforce, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It predicts that 41 million older Americans will represent 24.8 percent of the civilian workforce by 2024. This trend is driven by both the tightest labor market in almost 50 years and by longer-living Americans who keep working, at least part-time, to supplement insufficient retirement income. Adding further fuel to the trend of more senior workers is the BLS’ estimate of 14 percent growth in the food and beverage labor force between 2016 and 2026. That percentage is more than the average for all other occupations.

AARP Vice President for Financial Resilience Susan Weinstock stated, “Our work with McDonald’s is a true first-of-its-kind for the QSR industry and we hope others follow.”

Said Ron Painter, president of the National Association of Workforce Boards, “Considering the labor trends for both the 50+ workforce and the growth of the QSR industry, McDonald’s leadership in this area is occurring at an opportune time.”

He elaborated, “People all over the country are facing challenges that are driving them back into the workforce and we need to connect them with employers that provide respect, dignity and opportunities for advancement and connection. It’s encouraging to see McDonald’s stepping up to the challenge.”

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